KEY POINTS

  • Biden and Putin are expected to meet Wednesday in Geneva
  • Trump was previously criticized over his relationship with the Russian president
  • Trump again denied Russian interference in the 2016 election

Donald Trump on Thursday wished President Joe Biden luck and asked him for a favor ahead of his anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week. 

In a statement, the former president asked Biden to send Putin his “warmest regards” and also warned him not to fall asleep during the meeting. The latter comment was a reference to “Sleepy Joe,” a nickname he had given to Biden during the 2020 presidential campaign. 

“Good luck to Biden in dealing with President Putin—don’t fall asleep during the meeting, and please give him my warmest regards!” Trump wrote.

Trump, who was previously criticized for his relationship with the Russian leader, denied that the Russian governmen interfered in the 2016 election and said he still trusts Putin over those in the U.S. intelligence community. 

“Because of the phony Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax, made-up and paid for by the Democrats and Crooked Hillary Clinton, the United States was put at a disadvantage—a disadvantage that was nevertheless overcome by me,” Trump said in the statement. 

“As to who do I trust, they asked, Russia or our 'Intelligence' from the Obama era,” he continued. “The answer, after all that has been found out and written, should be obvious.”

Biden and Putin are set to have their first in-person meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, after the U.S. president meets with Queen Elizabeth II this weekend at the Windsor Castle. 

The president is expected to warn Putin over the recent wave of ransomware attacks in the U.S. that are believed to be carried out by hacker groups based in Russia, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

"I can’t tell you whether I'm optimistic or not about the results," Blinken said.  "I don't think we're going to know after one meeting, but we'll have some indications ... We're prepared either way."

Both leaders are also expected to discuss the relations between the U.S. and Russia, the COVID-19 pandemic and how they could extend the New START treaty—a nuclear nonproliferation agreement between Moscow and Washington that was signed on April 8, 2010. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said Biden plans to use the summit to confront Putin, but downplayed the expectations from the meeting. 

"We're not expecting to have a huge outcome from this," Psaki said.

Presidens Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva with low expectations Presidens Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva with low expectations Photo: AFP / Jim WATSON